In early fall, most of the fish are on the main lake, but moving. On reservoirs with grass, the shad are drawn to the vegetation. The days are shortening, which has the shad thinking about migration to the creeks and the main lake flats become their first move.
I’ll look for those grass beds on flats or points that are reasonably close to deep water. On lakes without grass, I still fish points on the main lake and the secondary points of major creeks.
I like to reel the spinnerbait with a medium retrieve and pop the rod every 10 feet or so. If I have a fish following, I’ll snap the rod to trigger them to bite.
As the days get shorter and the water cooler, the shad will move into the creeks and the bass will follow. The blue herons and gulls offer clues as to where the bait is positioned, but expect it to move farther into the creeks as the season progresses.
Because the creeks become a little more stained, the bass will get around shallower targets. That’s when I switch to a 3/8- or 1/2-ounce spinnerbait and fish around floating docks, crappie brush piles and logs.
Never overlook boat docks, especially the floating type, because the bass will suspend under them waiting for a pod of shad to swim by.
When fishing the back of creeks, I will go to a shorter rod (6 1/2 or 7 feet) because I can make more accurate casts with the smaller bait. I also like to bang the lure against objects and let it flutter for a second before resuming the retrieve.
Also, remember that the bass will get extremely shallow in the backs of these creeks, so the flats with isolated stumps or pieces of wood are great ambush areas for bass stalking shad.
This is also a time when the HydroWave becomes a key piece of equipment because there are so many shad in the same zone as the bass. I have had several instances where I activated the shad when I turned on the HydroWave, and when that happens, the bass get aggressive.
My best advice for fall spinnerbaiting is to keep moving until you find the fish. This is not a time to sit on a hole; keep that trolling motor moving and the spinnerbait wet if you want to load the boat with quality fall bass.